The quintessential Mediterranean bird whose bubbling 'pruuupp' calls are such a feature of the months May to August. Has amazingly colourful plumage. Adult has a chestnut crown and nape, grading to yellow on the back and rump; uppertail is green with two projecting tail feathers and underparts are blue except for a black-bordered yellow throat. In flight, wings show chestnut and blue on upper surface. Close views of perched birds reveal dark mask through eye and white forecrown. Often seen flying in flocks, circling and gliding in pursuit of insects. Usually returns to perch with prey and removes stings from bees and wasps by knocking them against perch.
Colonial nester in sand banks. Hunts over agricultural land, marshes and rivers. Widespread and common summer visitor.
First heard them at the end of March, then caught this fellar at the beginning of April, a month earlier than they are supposed to be back.